Six Characteristics of Mental Toughness – Part 3

Female truck driver smiling happily

By: Ellen Voie, Founder, Women in Trucking

Review of the first 4 characteristics (be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2):

1. Level-Headedness
2. Stress Tolerance
3. Resiliency/Ego-Strength
4. Energy/Persistence

5. Self-Structure

“A measure of one’s preference for independently determining work methods. A high score indicates the motivation to work independently. A low score indicates one is unlikely to define one’s own work habits and methods.” 

Do you have a team member who can set goals for themselves, both short and long-term? Do they have the ability to make strategic decisions? These employees likely prefer to work with little management oversight and exhibit a strong propensity for self-structure. It’s not uncommon, however, for some employees to struggle with organizational skills and time management. Encourage them to develop proficiency in self-structure by offering coaching in project management competencies. Learning how to properly prioritize task work and manage deadlines will help them learn valuable organizational skills they can apply. Many leaders are learning to maximize this trait with technology. From efficiency platforms to project management platforms, these tools are created to help employees communicate, organize their days, and collaborate better. Since one of the fundamental skills to self-structure is communication, these platforms are helping teams build great communication practices and organize their structure internally.

6. Thoroughness

“A measure of one’s tendency to be concerned with details and to take full ownership of tasks, jobs, and roles. Those that score high tend to take responsibility and can be perfectionistic. Those who score low tend to be a bit less conscientious and may not always attend to the details required to continue to develop skill sets.” 

Mentally tough employees take pride in their work. Your detail-oriented employee focuses not only on the big picture, but also on the small facets and the minor adjustments needed in order to accomplish the goal. So, how do you develop those who aren’t as thorough? Start by incorporating lists and getting organized. Prioritize major tasks and coach them on how to rank the importance of each part as it relates to the whole. This will help your employees understand which tasks need particular care and how the quality of each piece can affect the greater project. By understanding the value of the task, employees learn to accept ownership for their work. Reinforce this practice and make it routine. Part of thoroughness is consistency. Embracing routine makes for a process that has a built-in priority for thoroughness. Mental toughness coaching will provide your team with better skills and insights for their roles and provide support needed to take challenges head-on finishing strong. You’ll see better overall performance and more consistent outcomes from employees who practice mental toughness, and they will be able to develop those skills throughout their career.

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